CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – The Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority (CARTA) is pleased to announce the arrival of seven new Downtown Shuttle (DASH) vehicles that will enhance the transit experience for a growing ridership on the peninsula.
Hitting the road just in time for the holiday shopping season on Dec. 1, the recently arrived NewFlyer MiDi buses will replace the existing 17-year-old trolleys and feature noticeable improvements in comfort, safety and efficiency.
“We’re delighted with the purchase of these new vehicles and understand how important this improved experience will be for local workers, residents, students and hundreds of thousands of visitors each year,” said CARTA Board of Directors Chairman Mike Seekings. “With a fresh look featuring Charleston’s iconic pineapple for hospitality, we look forward to making downtown more accessible and navigable.”
The seven new vehicles are 30 feet in length, eight feet wide and have capacity for 50 passengers. Made in the U.S., each vehicle cost approximately $335,000. The purchases were made possible via a $500,000 expenditure from the City of Charleston that CARTA staff matched with significant Federal funds.
“CARTA and public transit are playing an increasingly important role in Charleston,” said Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg. “Because of that, the City saw the necessity of assisting in upgrading the DASH fleet and we look forward to further regional collaboration in the future.”
Highlights of the new DASH vehicles include:
- Panoramic windows with narrow posts for enhanced onboard views.
- Quieter and more fuel-efficient engines.
- Improved accessibility with two doors, low floor and easily accessible wheel chair ramps.
- New comfort features such as cushioned seats and enhanced air conditioning.
- Enhanced safety with more floor space for standing capacity, LED headlights, better maneuverability, and a narrower frame, taking up less street space.
Three DASH routes allow riders to explore the peninsula, from the Aquarium to the Citadel to Broad Street and Waterfront Park. There is no cost to ride.
“The DASH service is a convenient and cost-effective way for residents and visitors alike to move around the peninsula,” shares Helen Hill, CEO of the Charleston Area Convention & Visitors Bureau. “At the same time, traffic congestion is reduced because there are fewer cars on city streets.”